Deep-sea corals are beautiful, rarely seen creatures that live over 200 metres below the surface of the world’s oceans. New Zealand has a wide diversity and an abundance of these corals.
Corals are tiny animals called polyps, which usually live in colonies. Their beauty lies in their varied and intricate skeletons, which provide habitat for a huge range of other animals.
Several deep-sea corals live for hundreds of years, and contain important information about the oceans of the past. However, corals of the deep are yet to be fully understood. This exhibition brings to the surface some mysterious and unique specimens from the New Zealand region.
Te Papa would like to acknowledge the considerable contribution made by the
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Taihoro Nukurangi in selecting, lending, and preparing most of the specimens in this display.
Te Papa also thanks the Ministry of Fisheries Te Tautiaki nga tini a Tangaroa, and the Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai for supporting the loan of coral specimens.